When I was a new fan of Danny Phantom years back, I had an irritating dislike for the main character of Danny because for every lesson and moral he learned, he almost never seemed to grow up... or so I thought. The more I got used to this show's rather excellent Character Development, the more I saw Danny was indeed maturing and developing his personality. Sure, the writing can be lax on this at certain parts, but they've relatively kept it going at a good pace. He's such a different person by the last season than he was at the beginning and I've come to enjoy his presence. —Neo Yi
This Danny/Valerie shipper finally figured out the unique angle for the Danny/Sam ship — Sam is a total Danny PhantomFangirl. Despite her friendship with Danny Fenton, it's clear his alter ego is the one she's attracted to. She practically swoons while flying with him in "Fanning the Flames", she redesigns his costume (just like Cardcaptor Sakura's biggest fangirl), and she's livid when Danny gives up his powers in "Phantom Planet" because she's going to miss Phantom. The Last Minute Hook Up is more female fantasy fulfillment than male, despite Sam fitting the Rich Bitchtrend in Danny's Love Interests. Because, by sheer coincidence, this Lois knows this Superman's Secret Identity from the beginning; it's weird, but weird is good (still not as good as this show's Dating Catwoman, but interesting enough). — Lale
My God, that's why she acted like she was slapped in the face during the Grand Finale. It wasn't Character Derailment at all! Granted, it's not a part of the characterization I like, but damn it, it fits! — Mullon
I actually came up with a pro Sam approach to the whole situation. Sam loves Danny for who he is and always will; when he gave up his powers, to her, it was just that... he gave up. It wasn't that he felt like he did his part and was finished with his share or something; he was beaten by Vlad and decided to stay down and let Vlad's goon squad take care of things for profit. In doing so, he stopped being the Danny that we watched through the series, who became stronger and more mature at the same time and instead in giving up, he became a shadow of his old self. This made Sam feel that he wasn't the same person that she fell in love with.
That's how I had interpreted it from the start. Sam had fallen in love with him, not because he was a hero, but because he had overcome the obstacles without losing sight of who he is. He remained the same well-intentioned guy throughout the entire series, he just became more mature. Giving up his powers was like giving up a piece of who he is. It's the same reason Paulina's fan-girl actions towards Phantom annoyed her. She knew that Paulina liked him because he was a hero and nothing else, while Sam loved everything about him.
Not to mention that until the third season, neither of them were willing to admit their feelings and with the ghost powers and fighting, they were able to see each other as they were growing up. Danny's ghost side is what helped him become Sam's dream guy and without it, she's unsure if she still would love him because he isn't the same person that she finally was able to admit even to herself that she loved.
Doesn't that arguably go back to the first example; that Sam liked Danny romantically because of his ghostly abilities?
I think the Danny/Sam relationship was shown as like one editor said, that Sam always loved Danny. That scene in "Fanning the Flames" to me was Sam's Love Epiphany which is why she admits part of her really like Danny's attention. Their eventual relationship is clear to almost everyone from day one, from Jerk Jock Dash to his clueless father. The powers were just made his unique as Sam pointed out. This also show the difference between her and Paulina, Sam loves Danny despite his powers, Paulina loves Danny because of his powers.
Now, his powers may have something to do with it. Ever since episode one, Sam has wanted to change the world for the better, and for most of her life she's satisfied this urge with her role as an Ultra Recyclo Vegetarian and saving the world from itself. Through a group of like-minded individuals, she sought to make a positive impact on her environment. And then Danny, her best friend, got superpowers. Suddenly, he possessed the ability to change the world for the better, and did so on a daily basis as Phantom, and she got to make a difference through him. Danny giving up the power to make the world a better place was unimaginably selfish to her, and knowing this, her disappointment in him is understandable. -Sesquipedalia
It never ceases to confound and amaze me how readily people latch onto the 'sam-is-a-danny-phantom-fangirl' theory. First of all, Danny Phantom and Fenton are one and the same. To quote Lois and Clark [Danny Fenton] is who [Danny] is. [Danny Phantom] is just what he does. And to further elaborate on this, a quote from Megamind: it's not what you look like that defines you, but your actions. Danny's powers weren't just ghost rays- they were a major outlet to a part of his personality- the Chronic Hero Syndrome part, the part that couldn't just “sit on the sidelines” and watch innocent people (people he didn't even know) being terrorized when he could “change things”- via his powers. That is the part of Danny's personality that Sam -and us, the audience- loved. And yet, that part of his personality vanished in the beginning of the movie. He sat back. He didn't care about strangers anymore. He didn't care about justice, all "the good he was doing" anymore. He just cared about having fun. In short, he became the same apathetic, selfish jerk that defined “normal kids” everywhere- chewing on corn dogs and blissfully watched his town being extorted on a gigantic scale- which is exactly what drove Sam over the edge and lead to her supreme What the Hell, Hero? speech. ("You're not you anymore!") And that's why Sam's eyes lit up when he got himself back to normal stage 1- the plan to save the earth ("Now that's the Danny I know!") and stage 2- retrieving his powers and the biggest outlet to the other part of his personality. — KariGray
Sam: Danny! It's you! I mean, it was always you, but-
Danny: *smiles* I know what you mean, Sam. Thanks.
And it's not like Sam was the only one who was upset. Both Tucker and Jazz were urging him not to do it, and saddened afterwards. Danny was having a hissy fit, and made a bad judgement. I mean he gets rid of his powers why? Because he's not popular anymore, and Vlad's Master's Blasters are arresting his parents looking for him. Well he's been less popular, like at the end of public enemies. And he may stop them from finding a ghost in the house, but the Blasters are run by Vlad. You know the guy who wants to destroy his father, and has the obsession with his mother. The guy he has no way of fighting now. The guy who sabotages the operation to destroy the Disastoriod so as to make Jack look bad and set up an attempt to blackmail the whole world. So yeah, they were right to be upset. Danny was making a bad judgement in the heat of the moment.
When "Masters of All Time" first aired, I hated it because as a Vlad fangirl, I thought the idea that he was a Jerkass even in an alternate timeline was just crossing the line, especially since it came after "The Ultimate Enemy" where he was sympathized. It took nearly three years to realize that this isn't the case. Vlad having a tragic, pathetic, and sad life even in another timeline not only has a "it's not coincidence, it's hitsuzen" feel, but makes him even MORE sympathetic. Because even in another timeline, he tries so hard to find love because he's painfully afraid of being alone. Instead of being angry for his treatment, I now see this episode as an Alas, Poor Villain episode and a Character Development to the Villainous Breakdown he gets in the Season Two Finale—the writing was just very subtle about it. Brilliant. — Neo Yi
Call me a Vlad fangirl, but when a villain is usually played for sympathy, I tend to think there can be more then just him "being evil". Especially when this can be proven true if the alternative Bad Future was an indication. True, it took the ghost power out of him, but it goes back to my "Hitsuzen" time coincidence remark. What happened in another time could potentially work in the current canon. It can be argued it already happened in the Grand Finale when he regrets what he has done to the planet. — Neo Yi
This goes even deeper than everything mentioned. Vlad isn't evil because Maddie rejected him, or because high school was hell for him; he's evil because he places little to no value on the lives of those around him. He sees the world and those who live in it as chess pieces to be manipulated. Even Maddie just turned out to be a trophy for him, a prize he won through defeating Jack. His ghost powers only served to feed into his lust for power and in turn his blindness towards his self-destructive behavior. In "Ultimate Enemy", he became totally powerless. There was no one to manipulate, no mind games to be played. He was trapped in a game with an opponent just as smart as him and five times more ruthless that he had no chance of winning, and there he realized what he'd done wrong his whole life. -Sesquipedalia
To me it seems like the idea isn't that circumstances made Vlad a villain. His own selfishness did. Vlad shows it's not what happens to you that makes you evil, it's how you react to it.
Upon watching "Eye for an Eye", I at first thought that Vlad's character had been completely derailed, going from a rather sympathetic character with questionable methods to just plain being a Jerkass. The one-uppance of the whole episode left a bad taste in my mouth, thinking that Vlad had lost his finesse and hit an all-time low in playing pranks. But, that was before I rewatched most of season 2 and "Kindred Spirits". I realized that Vlad's obsession with having Danny as a son took him to all-new levels in his behavior, and when Danny destroyed his clones and his lab, he blew a gasket. After that, I could easily see how Danny became less of a "son he never had" and became more of an enemy he just wanted to ruin and make miserable. - Captain Planette
After watching "Kindred Spirits" and season three I'm convinced Vlad was having his villainous breakdown during "Kindred Spirits". He's stopped being friendly to Danny, and trying to win him over. By this point it's becoming increasingly clear he has no chance with Maddie. Every Member of the Fenton Family has defeated him at some point. By the end of "Kindred Spirits" his clone project is destroyed, his most successful clone hates him, and his Maddie program loves the Jack program. Vlad is left realizing he has failed to attain all the things he really wanted (Maddie's love, Danny as a son, Destroying Jack, Buying the Packers...) and is desperately looking for new goals and purpose. He's in the aftermath of his actual Villainous Breakdown, and is a shell of what he was.
It's reportedly taken more than one fan some time before it clicks that Vlad saying to Danny and Jazz, "You two know each other?" in "Secret Weapons" is not a goof — because Danny is in his ghost form, and Vlad doesn't yet know that Jazz knows his Secret Identity. - Lale
It always bugged me that The Nasty Burger sponsored Sam and Tucker's pirate radio in the episode of the same name, but it just hit me: all the adults were missing! It was probably an indifferent or irresponsible teenage employee who suddenly found himself with control over the whole place and made the decision to sponsor them, perhaps just for kicks. - Mazz
In his first appearance, Vlad Plasmius basically mops the floor with Danny, displaying not just more raw power then the young hero, but also a wider range of powers as well, justifying it as him having "Years of Experience". However, from Season 2 onward, the battles between Vlad and Danny become much more even, culminating in "Masters of All Time", where Team Phantom chases Vlad throughout history, with Danny fighting the villain on a more even footing. How did Danny close the gap in terms of power and skill so fast? Consider Vlad's personality. He's a Smug Snake who prefers manipulating people to direct confrontation, and who only fights when he's stacked the deck in his favor. It's actually taken him years to gain that much experience using his powers. Danny, on the other hand, is constantly jumping head-first into almost hopeless fights to try and protect innocent people, and thus having to improvise while in combat. He's effectively been Level Grinding, getting in "years of experience" in a shorter amount of time then Vlad took. - lonewolf23k
I think it is part level grinding and part the fact that many of the ghost Danny fought would have killed him if he got in the way, if were not actively hunted him. The whole win or die mentality kind of forced Danny into being better. darkwulf23
Not only that but think about the differences in the way they got their powers. Vlad was shot in the face and only in the face by a massive release of ectoplasmic energy and it took 5 years to become a complete hybrid. Danny on the other hand, had his entire body in the ghost portal when it fired up and became a ghost hybrid instantly. By sheer raw power Danny would have the advantage, and that isn't even going into all of the different possible implications and lingering effects of the idea that his soul had been telefraged between the ghost zone and the real world, then reconnected during the incident.
You know in the last episode where Jack shows a picture of "skunk punks stink!" with several people with skunk stripes in their hair with Vlad? They may have been trying to help him feel better after the accident, but somehow gotten formed into a band. I liked how it showed Jack as really naive instead of stupid.
I was just watching TUE again, and I saw a pattern in Dark Danny's chaos. He destroys Ember's vocal cords, She's a singer. Johnny Thirteen is in a wheelchair, he is a motorbike rider. Box ghost, nothing without realizing he and Lunch Lady had a daughter, and Lunch Lady is nowhere to be seen. The kicker is with Vlad, truly alone, truly powerless and helped create the monster to help the kid he wants as a son. Dan Phantom was going for extreme Irony.
Why is The Box ghost ten years later so much more powerful? Well he didn't get Pandora's box until after the Nasty burger incident so in this timeline nobody stopped him when he stole it that time.
Another possibility for why the Box Ghost has bulked up so much. If the above theory about what happened to the Lunch Lady is accurate, Box Ghost would have lost his wife, and probably would have blamed himself for being too weak to stop it. And of course he'd want to be stronger so he could protect his daughter.
Remember Danny's line about how "all my beauty sleep" left him fully charged to fight Nocturne in Frightmare? Sleep works in stages, going from Stage 1 (barely asleep), to stage two, three, four, and then it goes backwards until about the point where it hits stage one again, but instead of going into Stage 1 sleep, an individual would normally enter what is called REM sleep, or 'Rapid Eye Movement' due to how your eyes move rapidly under closed eyelids. This is where the most restorative sleep occurs, but also where the most vivid and remembered dreams occur and the involved brainwave activity. This happens in about ninety minutes, then it loops back around, cutting a stage each time until it is essentially unbroken REM until the person awakes. Now, Nocturne's power focuses on dreams and characters were deep in them for an unknown amount of time and everyone remembered them perfectly. Although the dreams were of unknown length, that much "recharge" would have left all of them with more than enough normal energy (to say nothing of Danny's ghost energy) to do the things they do fighting Nocturne.
It always bugged me how naive Jack was about Vlad, treating him like his best friend despite how Vlad acted around him. But then it hit me: Vlad isn't just a friend he hadn't seen in twenty years and who now only makes the barest possible pretense of actually liking him—he's a friend who Jack accidentally put into the hospital for five years, ruining his life for a while, and who has only recently (apparently) forgiven him. Jack probably feels guilty and really, really wants to see friendship and forgiveness where there isn't any. It could also be that he can see Vlad hasn't entirely forgiven him, despite having gotten back in touch, and he's trying very hard to show that he still cares and is a good friend—trying to make up for the past. Either way, it's suddenly easy to see why Jack would overlook/ignore all the various hints that Vlad hates him.
During "Reign Storm," Poindexter spent a lot of time with the Dragon Ghost (the one that looks like a blond girl from the middle ages with a necklace when she isn't a dragon). In fact, he was riding her into battle against the skeleton army of Pariah Dark. In a later episode, we learn that the Dragon Ghost girl is essentially pushed around and bullied by her brother who has the same type of transformation object as her. Poindexter's whole back story deals with bullying. No wonder they got along.
Marathoning the series, I've realized just how brilliant Jack and Maddie really are. At the beginning everyone just sees them as ghost obsessed kooks. But here's the thing. All their ghost catching inventions work perfectly, despite the fact they've never even seen a ghost!
Dark Danny is capable of both duplicating himself and having these duplicates overshadow people. He traveled back into the past, when his parents were still alive. Even back when he was Danny, he had experience of overshadowing his father. Thinkaboutthat.
How about the scene where Dark Danny kills his human half? Nightmare Fuel in and of itself, right? However, look at how Dan's looming over Danny with his fangs bared and tongue lashing about. I'm a Humanitarian, anyone?
Also keep this in mind with Vlad from the mentioned alternate timeline. He viewed Danny as the son he never had, and, seeing Danny's broken spirit being wasted away into nothing by his grief, decided to act like a decent human being for once. So he did something to help Danny, just because he wanted to ease the poor kid's suffering and end his pain. It blows up in the guy's face in more ways than one. His ghost half gets ripped out of his body! He watches the defenseless human Danny DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH SO BAD HE CAN'T EVEN MENTION IT WHILE HE'S POWERLESS TO DO ANYTHING TO SAVE THE KID! The monster that was created, which pretty much is killing people on a daily basis - in the now apocalyptic world - was a result of something Vlad himself did, JUST TO HELP A KID HE WANTED TO SEE STOP SUFFERING! And now he lives alone in his huge torn up home... for years... with nothing but the haunting memories of this ALL to reflect on! I don't know what he's on to keep him from becoming insane or killing himself... BUT I NEED SOME!
ALL of the ghosts have nasty Fridge Horror implications. Let's take a looksee:
Most obviously, there's Sydney Poindexter. A kid so ruthlessly bullied, he's thought to still haunt his locker. Why the heck would anyone think that, unless he died during that bullying? He may have killed himself, or one of the bullies may have taken it too far... Both are fairly likely.
Ember - just listen to her song. Maybe I'm reading too much into things, but it sounds like someone used her, dumped her, cheated on her, or some combination therein, and she couldn't take it. This troper's guess is that she tried to burn his house down, and somehow got trapped inside. Or maybe she did something bad to him, and he burnt her house down with her inside.
The Box Ghost - He's a particular source of fridge horror for me. I mean, he probably worked at a shipping yard or something, and got crushed under a load of boxes. Suddenly, likely painfully. Maybe he had a wife and kids, we really don't know. But, still, the whole, "You will be crushed under the belongings of <insert name here>. Prepare to meet your cardboard fate of DOOM!" thing... it's just very cringe. Very, very cringe.
Youngblood - he seemed to have played a lot as a kid. Probably drowned, playing 'pirates' or something. Horrible...
Everything concerning Danielle's life. What we see is a spunky young girl who kicks butt. Then think about what REALLY happened with her on screen. In her first episode, it's a little girl who was emotionally manipulated by her father to do bad things only to find out he never loved her. Then there's her second episode where she's betrayed by a person she helped and had the one person who cares about her captured. Before she's TORTURED to death by her father. Who she very likely still cares about since she gave him the benefit of a doubt and asked if he found a way to fix her. Not to mention all that time between the two episodes she was effectively dying a slow, horrible death while living on the streets.
When I was younger, it took me a few watches for this to really sink in: Danny is half dead. It seems pretty obvious, but it's easy to forget, with all the "normal teen" and ass-kicking stuff.
Not really, ghosts are sort of another species in Danny Phantom. He's what they refer to him as sometimes in the show, a hybrid.
I'm going to have to side with the first troper on this one, because he kind of is. Ghosts in this show are never really implied to be a separate species. Not to mention the fact that they're, y'know, dead.
Ghost Perp: You'll never take me alive, copper!
Bullet: You're a ghost.
Ghost Perp: Well, you'll still never take me!
In "Public Enemies," Maddie calls Danny an "Odd manifestation of Ectoplasmic energy and Post-human consciousness." So yeah, ghosts are dead people with a bit of extra supernatural oomph attached.
HOW HAVE WE GONE THIS FAR WITHOUT MENTIONING THE GHOST PUPPY? In the episode where Valerie first got her ghost hunting gear, there is a ghost dog with two forms. A big menacing one, and a cute playful one. And then we learn that the place where Valerie's father works used to have guard dogs, but they were "gotten rid of." And the thing that the ghost dog was after the whole time? A squeaky toy in the old dog pens. Yeah.
Dani's  moment. Seems like just a funny moment? Later on though you find out that if she runs out of energy she will melt into a puddle of goo. She's eating so much because she needs the energy to fuel her metabolism.